Today’s Climate: May 9-10, 2009

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U.S. Climate Bill Unlikely to Pass this Year (Reuters)

U.S. climate change legislation is unlikely to pass this year due to concerns about the recession and contention over the implementation of the program, according to energy and carbon market experts.

Heavy Industries Not Likely to Bolt Over Cap and Trade (Environmental Leader)

By and large, energy-intensive heavy industry companies would not move overseas if climate legislation along the lines of what the U.S. House is considering is enacted, a study from the Pew Center on Global Climate Change has found.

Obama Budget Sticks to Auctioning All CO2 permits (Reuters)

President Obama’s $3.55 trillion budget, released on Thursday, retains his plan to cut CO2 emissions by auctioning off 100% of emission permits to industries.

Republicans Seek FERC Comment on Coal/Nuke Remark (Reuters)

Republicans in Congress on Friday asked Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Jon Wellinghoff to explain in detail his recent comments that new coal and nuclear plants may be unnecessary.

Obama Seeks to Halt Alternative Fuel Tax Credit for Paper Industry (Washington Post)

The Obama administration wants to stop billions of dollars of tax credits and direct payments to the paper industry under a tax provision originally intended to promote alternative fuels for motor vehicles, Treasury sources said.

Spain Plans Changes to Renewable Energy Aid Rules (Reuters)

Spain plans to change rules on state aid for renewable energy generators, an industry ministry spokesman said, arousing fears in the sector that its lucrative subsidies may shrink.

Cleanup Funding Benefits Energy Giants (Los Angeles Times)

Some of the country’s wealthiest oil companies and gas station chains have taken $490 million from an environmental cleanup fund in California designed to help smaller, financially struggling entities.

Shell’s Oil Sands Expansion to Start Up in 2011 (RigZone)

A 100,000-barrel-a-day expansion at Shell’s Athabasca oil sands project is expected to start up in 2011. The mine currently produces 155,000 barrels of the dirty oil.

U.S. "Cash for Clunkers" Program Needs Repair (ACEEE)

The latest vehicle scrappage bill that’s wending its way through Congress aims primarily to clear Detroit’s unsold inventory from the storage lots. It does not make the U.S. fleet more fuel efficient, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy has warned.

Duke Energy Proceeds on Rooftop Solar Program (Charlotte Business Journal)

Duke Energy will go ahead with its proposed $50 million rooftop solar program after North Carolina regulators adopted a a compromise that resolved potential tax incentive problems for the utility.

Scientists Expecting Massive Iceberg from Glacier Crack (Australian Broadcasting Corp.)

A massive iceberg that is 75 kilometers long and contains 750,000 gigaliters of ice is about to break off the Mertz glacier in East Antarctica.

Climate Change Displacement Has Begun — But Hardly Anyone Has Noticed (George Monbiot)

The first evacuation of an entire community due to global warming is happening right now on the Carteret Islands. It has been marked so far by one blog post and one article. Where is everyone?

Why are Cicadas Emerging Off Schedule? (AP)

Cicadas are coming out of the ground on the Eastern seaboard, primarily in North Carolina, four years ahead of schedule. The cause is "definitely" warmer temperatures, according to new research.

U.S. Commerce Chief Plans Clean Energy Trip to China (Reuters)

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said on Friday he will travel to China this year on a trade mission to promote sales of American clean energy goods.

Nations Gather for Oceans Talks in Indonesia (AFP)

Ministers and officials from 70 nations will meet in Indonesia on Monday at the World Ocean Conference — a first-of-a-kind summit on the oceans’ role in mitigating climate change.

Coal Tar Spill in China Pollutes River (The Straits Times)

Toxic coal tar that spilled from a chemical company’s storage tank polluted a river in southwest China but did not contaminate the drinking water supply for residents, an official has said.